Newcastle fans may have had little to shout about in recent weeks following the turmoil that engulfed the club after former manager Joe Kinnear was appointed Director of Football, but main striking target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given the club reason to hope.
Kinnear has joined Alan Pardew in stressing the club must strengthen its attacking options this summer, and the new Director of Football has identified the Gabon international as the top man on his wanted list, with the player himself recently stating his desire to play in England and moved to compliment the northern club.
The club would have to part with a reported fee of £15m in order to obtain Aubameyang’s services, but he will come with a proven goal scoring record. In the past two seasons the striker, who once wore a £2,500 pair of boot encrusted with 4,000 crystals in a pre-match warm-up, has scored 18 and 22 goals respectively, while also scoring 11 times for his country in 32 appearances.
While the striker will cost more than other striking target Darren Bent, Aubameyang is only 24-years-old, five years younger than Bent. This may appeal to chairman Mike Ashley more, with Ashley keen on players who command larger sell-on fees.
The Daily Mail also report that the club are also looking at another potential target from Ligue 1. Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac netted 18 goals in 37 games for the French side and has piqued the interest of the Magpies chief scout Graham Carr. The France international is seen as a potential recruit to add some much needed strength and power to Newcastle’s flagging frontline. Whether the club will want to pay the reported £12m is yet to be seen.
While Newcastle look to bring in players, it appears versatile player James Perch is on the verge of a move to Wigan. The 27-year-old, who can play either in defence or midfield, made a total of 37 appearances for the Magpies last season and has represented the club 80 times since signing from Nottingham Forest in 2010. However the player has just entered the final year of his contract and now seems surplus to requirements at St James’ Park.
Sky Sports report that the player is to undergo a medical ahead of a move mooted to be worth around £1m. With Perch being moved on it would seem Newcastle will want to bring in fresh faces at the heart of their defence, with James Tomkins of West Ham rumoured to be on Pardew’s radar.
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